It’s very easy to list down the teams that did their best during the year’s NBA playoffs. However, if we had to pick the teams that disappointed the most, it would be a tougher choice. Especially if you have to narrow it down to just the top three in this category.
Keeping the expectations we bestowed upon them in our minds, the answer becomes a little clearer. Thus, the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, and Milwaukee Bucks can be counted as the most disappointing teams in this playoff. Here’s why!
When the Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard and traded for Paul George, the audience was quick to label the team as title favorites. Even when the regular season concluded, they ended up with the second-best record in the Western Conference. This only solidified the faith everyone had in the team.
However, the playoffs didn’t pan out as expected. Despite having two of the best wing defenders at their disposal, the Clippers failed to put up with even underdog teams like Denver Nuggets. What’s worse is that they tanked a commanding 3-1 lead and were sent packing in the Conference Semi-Finals.
The aftermath of this was horrific. Kawhi and Doc Rivers were the target of a lot of scrutinies. Although, this was unfair because the team itself failed to support its star. Paul George’s inability to step up made everyone question his status as a star player, too. Bench players like Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell occasionally gave above par performances, but that just wasn’t enough.
With Rivers fired, do the Clippers have a chance at redemption, or is it just downhill from here?
It’s like the same story, but a different city. Just like the Clippers, the Rockets had a stellar regular season. But their star players failed to do big during the postseason.
First, Russell Westbrook was injured through a lot of the crucial games. And when he was back, he could not replicate his dominance as expected on the court. James Harden held an average of 29.6 points per game, but his shooting from the arc was just 33%.
Game 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Game 4 against the Lakers were the two times the Rockets desperately needed Harden to come to their rescue. However, he was nowhere to be found.
This was the best team the franchise has seen in many years, but Harden faced a lot of difficulty in even taking them beyond just the second round of the playoffs.
Miami Heat is responsible for cutting the Bucks’ quest for the championship short. They exploited the Bucks’ weakness on each end, but you must wonder why this team is on this list because statistically; the Bucks weren’t bad at all.
The answer is their inability to play well with their backs against the wall. Also, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton shouldn’t be the ones to be blamed. Both did their part of the job well, but as a whole, the team couldn’t stand a pressurizing situation.
.Every time the game was at a close call with just a few minutes for the buzzer to go off, the Bucks would start lagging. This happened during their game against the Nets,116-119, Rockets, 116-120, and in overtime against the Mavs, 132-136.
Thus, if they want to be a championship contender, they need to understand that a close game situation varies in the regular season and in the playoffs. When one loses to a team like the Brooklyn Nets, who don’t even have their lethal weapons like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving available on their roster, one can’t help but be disappointed.
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